‘I’ll make a start on my assignment later, when I have more time.’
‘Once my messages are clear, I’ll have more headspace to complete that report.’
‘I can’t study in a messy room, so I’d better do that first.’
Do any of these excuses sound familiar? In fact, the term ‘procrastacleaning’ has made it to the urban dictionary and is defined as the action of cleaning to avoid or postpone doing a task, like studying.
Procrastination is the act of delaying required tasks and doing something that is less important instead. It is completely normal, and most people procrastinate from time to time. Despite what you may think, it’s not a sign of laziness. It is a lack of emotional regulation. In other words, if a task is overwhelming, we can become stressed and put it off.
So, how can you overcome procrastination?
- Be self-aware— notice what you’re feeling and name it! “I’m stressed!”
- Practice mindfulness—a simple exercise such as breath control or sensory reaction can calm the storm.
- Change the way you think— “I get to study, what a privilege,” rather than, “I have to study”.
- Use positive self-speak— talk to yourself as if you were a friend. “What needs to be done and what is the issue?”
- Have self-compassion— remind yourself of your talents and virtues. It is much easier to feel motivated if you are feeling good about yourself!
Check out the Library’s Manage Your Time webpage for more tips on how to avoid procrastination throughout the trimester